We never talked about what we believed. There were no discussions of politics or religion. What we did during the week had nothing to do with what we did on Sundays. I was surprised at how much Lindy’s family talked about it.
One night, just before going to sleep, Lindy asked me, “Linda, if you died tonight and you stood before God and He asked you, ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’ what would you say?” I had no problem answering. We go to church. We pray. My dad is the superintendent of the Sunday school and my mom is a Sunday school teacher. We are Christians.
She didn’t seem satisfied with my answers. She prodded me a bit more. I came up with other reasons. She still wasn’t happy. She asked me to forget about my family. She was talking about ME.
I had managed to get out of many tight spots. My cuteness and sense of humour worked for me. I suddenly realised that it wasn’t going to work this time. We were talking about GOD; The God who Tommy had sung about. The one that I had prayed to every night for fear that, “If I should die before I wake…”
Things were starting to make sense; the Christmas story, Easter, the Sunday school songs and Bible stories came together like puzzle pieces. Because the people of the world were so full of sin, God sent His only son Jesus to die for them. That was Christmas. He lived a life without sin, but evil men didn’t like how good He was so they put Him on a cross. That was Easter Friday. Easter Monday He came alive again.
I believed all of that and I was proud of myself for working it all out. Lindy still wasn’t happy. She kept saying that she loved me and she wanted me to be in heaven with her. So, what would I say to God? None of my answers were going to be good enough. I knew that I wasn’t good enough to get into heaven. I needed some help. Lindy told me I needed to be “born again”.
It was news to me that I was loved by God. I knew that He loved the world, but I never thought that included me. I found that amazing. I didn’t need to clean myself up or try to be good enough. I just had to see how bad I was, ask God to forgive me and give my whole life over to Jesus. No-one in our church ever told me that.
It took me months of listening to lots of sermons at Lindy’s church. I was scared of what my family would say if I told them I was “born again.” That was just for the Pentecostals, not for the Methodists. My friends were convinced I had gone crazy.
I kept going to the Friday night parties but they started to feel empty. Even the one when a territorial fight broke out between the Woodlands boys and the Bluff boys. Bottles were broken and there was a lot of blood. I was bored and just wanted to go home.